I try to recognize my privileges and be aware how luckly I am in my life in general. But Coronavirus has definitely made me recognize these things with more pronouncement.
My husband and I are not wealthy. We don’t drive a fancy car. Actually, our car may die soon, and I have no plan for how to replace it. We don’t own a home. We are both heavily indebted, mostly from student loans. Our children don’t wear designer clothes or have the newest and best of whatever is hot with the kids these days. We can’t afford to travel as much as we would like. We have had one family vaction in the 4 years we have lived together as a family. But we have enough.
Just let that statement sink in. We have enough. I know how lucky am I to be able to make such a statement, but I think I occassionally need to stop and really appreciate that fact.
I have lived at various levels of financial stability in my life. I remember times when I was growing up where my parents struggled. They both worked full time jobs, but it was often hard to put food on the table for a family of 6. Don’t get me wrong, I have never actually known hunger. I was always provided for, even if it was sometimes a little less desirable. But I remember it being a struggle. And I remember the stress that struggle caused for my parents. I have, myself, lived well below the poverty line as an adult. I was a single mother and depended on assistance to help me feed my daughter and put a roof over her head. But again, we never actually went without basic needs. I had family I could fall back on when things got bad. And that assistance was available to me.
I never lived through something like Coronavirus. None of us have before now, I guess. For most of us, there has never been anything like this. We already had a hunger problem in this country and in the word before this pandemic. There were already people who didn’t know where they were getting their next meal. Now that number is increasing. It could double. I could triple. We really don’t know the answer to that yet. What I believe is that those people who were on the edge…like I was at times and like many others…may fall off. Right now, it doesn’t look like there is enough assistance out there. We don’t kow how long this will last or what the prophesied “recovery” will really look like.
Wow. I did not intend for this post to get this dark. I was originally just going to talk about how access to food is different because you know, like my aunts and uncles live in the boonies and maybe don’t have a Trader Joe’s. And that is still another disparity. I mean, I am fortunate that I can order groceries to be delivered directly to my door, most of the the time with same day delivery even now. I can order groceries, hardware, and a host of other things for curbside pickup. While I’m too afraid to do it, I can get just about anything delivered to my door. There are many places throughout this country where even if someone isn’t so poor they cannot afford food, they have to risk their life and that of their family every time they need a gallon of milk.
But it hits me hard that there are so many out there who cannot say they have enough. So many have little or no access to resources for assistance, and what little income they had is gone and may be gone for a while. I find myself asking what can I do? We don’t have much as far as being able to donate some giant check somewhere or something. I check on my neighbors. I check on my friends. I’m constantly watching for anything or anywhere I can help someone. Most of all, I just stop and appreciate that we have enough.